Smoking in Budapest

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Nowadays it is hard to imagine, but there was a time in Budapest when we could not go home after a fussy Friday or Saturday night from bar or a club without smelling smoke.

Before 2012 in Budapest you could smoke in bars, public stations and almost everywhere. But since the 1st of January 2012 it is forbidden to smoke in these places.

These rules are applied for e-cigarette users as well.

The law prohibits smoking in most enclosed public places. It is not allowed to smoke in 5-meter radius from the entrance of bars, nightclubs, bus stops, pedestrian underpasses, playgrounds, in the yard of the schools, hospitals or child welfare institutions.

The basic rule is that you can only smoke outside a distance of 5 meters from the entrance. Where this cannot be solved, it can be ignited within this distance near the entrance. The law makes only a few exceptions where there may be a smoking area indoors. For the sake of tourism, you are allowed to have a cigarette in the cigar rooms of the hotels.

Earlier there used to be smoker carriages on the Hungarian trains. Nowadays there is no possibility for this anymore.

If you fly from Budapest, then there is an outside area on the first floor in the SkyCourt Lounge for smokers passing the security check-in.

You can be charged from 20,000 HUF up to 50,000 HUF, which is about 57-141 euros.

Since the first of July 2013, you can only buy cigarettes in national tobacco shops in Budapest. You must be over 18 because it is a violation of law to sell to younger customers. You must have your ID or driving license with you, in case they ask for it if you do not look older than 18. If you are younger, you cannot even enter the shop, so teenagers usually ask adults to buy cigarettes for them. This action is against the law as well.

One pack of cigarettes is around 1,300 HUF which is around 3,68 euros.

If you are smokers and would like to participate in a river cruise in Budapest on the Danube, most of the cruising companies’ boats allow smoking on board. We spent an evening with Silverline Cruises and we could smoke in the outside front area of the boat.

If you go out in the night, there are several bars and clubs in the downtown area where there are covered backyards. These places use a loophole, as they can be heated in winter, so you can stay in an enclosed warm place, but they are officially open garden areas, so you can smoke legally.

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